“I think the thing that I’m most excited about with this one is it’s a game with history.” – Collinsworth
“I never like to rank guys one through five or whatever, but no matter what happens on Sunday, you’re having a conversation about one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. And Tom is very much in that conversation.” – Michaels on Tom Brady
INDIANAPOLIS – January 31, 2012 – NBC Sports conducted a media conference call today with Bob Costas (host), Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst) along with Mark Lazarus (Chairman, NBC Sports Group) and Fred Gaudelli (game producer) to preview its Super Bowl XLVI coverage. For a complete replay, dial 719-457-0820 and enter passcode 3500426. Highlights follow:
NBC Sports’ coverage of the Super Bowl begins at Noon ET, Sunday, Feb. 5. Details of NBC Sports’ pre-game programming will be announced later this week.
MICHAELS: “I always think about the old Marv Levy line, ‘Where would you rather be than right here, right now?’ If you’re in this business, that is totally applicable, because this is it. This is the Super Bowl. There is no event like it.”
COLLINSWORTH: “I always sort of equate it to a party. If you’ve got a dinner party for six people that you know really well, the conversation’s going to take on a certain tone. If you have a hundred people that you don’t know all that well, the conversation is going to take on a little bit of a different tone. We’ll try to be as engrossing as we can. We want everybody to have a great time with this one. Let’s face it, there are probably going to be 80 million perspective clients of ours that we’d like to invite to our Sunday Night party come next year. So we’re going to try to make everybody have a great time. Probably a few more stories told early on just to set the cast of characters in this one, and certainly the pregame show will help us do that, too.
“The thing that I’m most excited about with this one is it’s a game with history. You go back to 2007 and what happened in that Super Bowl, which was arguably the most exciting moment that I have ever been a part of watching a game. Like everybody else that week, I picked the Patriots to win. Of course, I was getting heckled a lot during the course of the game as they were making their comeback.”
TAFOYA: “It’s so much fun to cover. We have two Super Bowl MVPs in this game in Eli and Tom. The coaches, it goes without saying, the reputations of these teams and what they bring in terms of excitement. This is my second Super Bowl. I’m utterly thrilled to be here.”
COSTAS ON NBC SPORTS’ PRE-GAME COVERAGE: “The balance of what (executive producer) Sam Flood and his production team have put together is of interest to both avid football fans and to the casual viewers who fill out the audience and make it the biggest single audience in all of American television.”
MICHAELS ON ELI MANNING AND TOM BRADY: “The match-up is tremendous. If you’re going to put a couple of guy’s names up in lights on the marquee, it’s going to be Eli and Tom Brady. It’s the first time in history that two guys who have won Super Bowl MVPs as quarterbacks face off against each other. And Brady is one of the greatest of all time. I never like to rank guys one through five or whatever, but no matter what happens on Sunday, you’re having a conversation about one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. And Tom is very much in that conversation.”
LAZARUS ON NBCUNIVERSAL’S PRESENCE AT THE SUPER BOWL: “This is going to be a successful day for us from Noon ET on. On an ad sales front, we’re already in fine shape. We’ve sold out all of the ancillary programming. We have sold out a lot of sponsors for the early portions of the pre-game show. We think the entertainment value in audience enjoyment will be very strong, and therefore we believe that part will be a huge success leading into the biggest sporting event of the year. We have no doubts about our ability to translate the energy that is here to a national audience, both from an entertainment point of view and a sports point of view.”
LAZARUS ON NBC SPORTS’ SET UP IN INDIANAPOLIS: “We have multiple sets here. We have a studio set inside the media center where we’re doing our NBC Sports Network shows from. Then we’re also utilizing theaters around town, one that will house both the Bob Costas town hall meeting, and then the David Feherty show on the next evening. Then another theater that is being used by the Jimmy Fallon group to do the Fallon show Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. So multiple areas, not to mention there is a small place called Lucas Oil Field that will have a big football game, and we’ll utilize that as the backdrop for the biggest show of all. Finally, in terms of numbers of people, we have roughly 450 people here in town working tirelessly in front of the camera, behind the camera to host guests and to make this an NBCUniversal wide success.”
GAUDELLI ON NEW PRODUCTION ELEMENTS: “There will be quite a few new production elements in terms of the graphics that we use to display information in terms of what we’ll do to personalize players. We just did some extensive photo shoots with both teams to try to give people a sense of the player without the helmet on and what he looks like and where he’s from, and hopefully his personality. With the Super Bowl, everything is bigger and bolder in terms of the presentation, and that will certainly be so. But when it comes right down to it, it’s all about how we’re going to cover this game. To me, that is the ultimate litmus test. How well will we do? We expect to do very well.”
COLLINSWORTH ON HOW LONG IT TAKES TO GET OVER A SUPER BOWL LOSS: “I’m 53 years old, and I’m hoping it happens on my 54th birthday.”
PRE-GAME CONFERENCE CALL TOMORROW AT 1 PM ET: NBC Sports will conduct a media conference call tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET with the Football Night in America team of Dan Patrick (co-host), Tony Dungy (analyst), Rodney Harrison (analyst) and Sam Flood (Executive Producer, NBC Sports).
NBC SPORTS SUPER BOWL XLVI MEDIA GUIDE: The NBC Sports Super Bowl XLVI Media Guide is now available at http://press.nbcsports.com. The Media Guide contains programming and production information, historical material, talent and executive bios and photos, and Super Bowl-related logos.
–SUPER BOWL XLVI